Who We Help


Christopher was a creative, curious 12-year-old with significant learning disabilities and a personal dream of becoming an insect biologist. He had always struggled with the social and academic dimensions of classroom dynamics and had been enrolled in a special education school for several years.  While the school helped address his many challenges, its necessary approach to building fundamental academic skills gave Christopher little opportunity to combine his imagination and curiosity to conduct experiments, which he loved to do. As a result, he began to languish and isolate himself both in the classroom and at home.  Noticing the change, his family felt that it was critically important that they find a way to encourage his scientific curiosity.

They mentioned Christopher’s situation to other parents in his Upper West Side children’s play-group and quickly learned of Individual U.’s enrichment work with similar kids. Following discussions with several families whose children had attended Individual U. through their playgroup, Christopher’s parents set up a meeting with Dr. Rudin. Within days, Christopher was scheduled to meet one-on-one with a small group of mentors. During his first visit, he immediately connected with his mentors and was particularly excited by the chance to explore his love of science with the mentoring team.

Shortly afterward, Christopher began a summer weekend enrichment program, working with a mentoring team to cultivate his natural excitement for scientific research. Implementing an array of creative scientific learning approaches, they helped him use his areas of interests as entry points into broad scientific exploration. The end of Christopher’s first year with Individual U. coincided with his being accepted to a faster paced special education school. He continued work with Individual U. during his first year at his new school, mostly along the enrichment tract but occasionally working in areas where had academic difficulty.